Home sweet France

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Of course France isn’t our home, but after years of passing through — on our way to and from Francophone African countries — visiting beautiful Strasbourg this weekend felt like a petit homecoming in general awareness.

Suddenly, I could speak to people in their own language* (albeit, simply and ungrammatically), understand signs, and go to Monoprix and read all the product labels. The skies opened. . . .

I love living in Germany, but, thus far, the German language is a stone wall to me. Thankfully, the school system here is so good that you can always find someone who speaks at least fair English. I do try to maintain an appropriately ashamed look every time I say, “I sorry, I don’t speak German.”

Anyway, Strasbourg was great, and I saw my first blooming wisteria this year there.

I can recommend Hôtel Gutenberg,  flammkuchen (aka tarte flambée) with a glass of pinot gris for lunch, and the boat tour of the River Ill, which circles the city center. And the spectacular cathedral is celebrating its 1,000th birthday this year.

What’s the French for “fiddle-de-dee”? . . .
The “Fiddle” we know, but what’s from “Dee”?
Le chat assis in an English tree?

John Hollander, from “For ‘Fiddle-de-de’


*in French, of course, but the native language of  Strasbourg is actually Alsatian, a dialect of German that is spoken by 43% of the region’s population, according to Wikipedia.

6 thoughts on “Home sweet France

  1. I know what you mean about the German language, I had the same when living in Brussels and shopping in the Flemish area! Your images speak of real spring, enjoy it !

    1. I doubt that I’ll ever really speak German, but I’m sure I’ll eventually have a good supply of useful phrases and words in my head.

      Dutch always looks easier to me — shorter words.

  2. German and Afrikaans (probably Dutch too) have those compound nouns – strung together in a long string like the Welsh train station. At first I used to battle with working out where to split the chain into sensible words.

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